|Christopher Moraes, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Chemical Engineering, McGill University
E: chris.moraes <at> mcgill.ca. Office: Wong 4330
Chris Moraes is a hybrid engineer: he trained in nanoengineering (B.A.Sc.), and switched into mechanical and biomedical engineering (Ph.D, U. Toronto) before holding a Banting / NSERC postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan’s Biointerfaces Institute. His research interests lie at the interface between engineering, biology and medicine, and he is particularly curious about the role microenvironmental biomechanical forces play in driving disease and development. Recent honours include the NSERC Howard Alper postdoctoral prize, and the Leyerle-CIFAR prize for interdisciplinary research.
|Avital Horowitz, M.Eng. candidate
Avital is a Montreal native, M.Eng candidate in the department of Chemical Engineering. Her current project is quantifying the biomechanical feedback loops that occur in fibrotic diseases, such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Specifically, using a microfabrication approach to understand how matrix stiffness effects lung cell behaviour. Avital has her undergraduate degree in Honours Anatomy and Cell Biology (BSc, McGill), and although she was extensively involved in Cellular and Molecular Biology research, she yearned for an integrative, applied, and creative approach to science for her graduate studies. When Avital is not in the lab, she enjoys practicing yoga, biking around the beautiful city of Montreal, and cooking.
|Ray Tran, M.Eng. candidate
Ray is originally from Toronto, Ontario and he obtained his undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Waterloo. He is currently pursuing a Master of under the co-supervision of Prof. C. Hoesli and Prof. C. Moraes. His research is involves understanding and optimizing the differentiation of induced pluripotent stem cells into functional insulin-secreting beta cells with regards to different substrates, soluble signals and culture dimensionality. Outside of the lab, Ray enjoys cooking, watching movies, and exercising.
|Sanya Siddiqui, M.Eng. candidate
Sanya is a Master’s student in the department of Chemical Engineering under the co-supervision of Dr. Moraes and Dr. Tufenkji. She is originally from London, Ontario and graduated with a B.ESc in Chemical Engineering from The University of Western Ontario. Sanya has a background in antimicrobial biomaterials but is excited to explore the area of microengineering. Outside of the lab, Sanys enjoys reading, cooking and socializing with friends.
|Stephanie Mok, Ph.D. candidate
Stephanie comes to us from the University of Western Ontario to pursue a PhD in chemical engineering, a rather dramatic shift from her days studying the basic medical sciences. She holds a Bachelor of Medical Sciences degree specializing in pathology and toxicology, as well as a Masters of Science in pathology. She’s excited to dabble in single-cell models to better understand how changes to their microenvironment can lead to the development of disease. Her current hobbies and interests include rock climbing, bicycling, video gaming and reading.
|Wontae Lee, M.Eng. Candidate
Wontae is an (almost) fully assimilated Korean-Canadian from mostly Ontario – latest location: Toronto. Presently, she is pursuing her Master of Engineering in Chemical Engineering (co-supervised by Richard Leask), studying the relationship between cell-generated forces and functional tissue activity via engineered mechanosensors. Outside of the lab, Wontae enjoys a mishmash of sports, film (both the cinema and photography variety), and eating hamburgers and ice cream (but not together, because ew). Her favourite joke: What’s red and bad for your teeth? A brick!
|Andrea Saliba, Undergraduate RA
Andrea is an undergraduate chemical engineering student, and is Lebanese-Canadian born and grew up in Lebanon. In the lab, she is working on in vitro multilayered cell culture interfaces using silicones (polydimethylsiloxane) as a base and hydrogels (Polyacrylamide) to culture human cells. In her free time, Andrea enjoys practicing yoga, discovering the best coffees places in Montreal, going to the movies, reading and baking.
|Camilla Jiang, Undergraduate RA
Camilla is an undergraduate student in the Chemical Engineering program, and is a Chinese-Canadian born and raised in Shanghai, China. In the lab, she is developing new smart hydrogel materials, and is looking to apply these materials towards understanding tissue mechanobiology. Outside of the lab, Camilla enjoys golfing, eccentrics workout, and grocery shopping.
|Katie MacDonald, Undergraduate RA
Katie is an undergraduate student studying Chemical Engineering, originally from Kelowna, BC. In the lab, she is working on developing sensors to enable the real-time measurement of force and stiffness in contracting tissues. Her previous undergraduate research experience has included investigating the effects of statin therapy on endothelial cell mechanotransduction. Outside of the lab, Katie enjoys baking, reading, and spending time outdoors (especially hiking when she’s back home in BC).
|Lisa Zhao, Undergraduate RA
Lisa is an undergraduate chemical engineering student and is from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. She will be developing and fune-tuning an innovative soft silicone microstructure through “Supersoft” lithography, for use in a modified high-throughput screening process. Previously, Lisa has been a teaching assistant for a separation processes class and developed two laboratory activities to help understand core concepts in distillation. Her activities outside the lab include being a varsity athlete on the McGill Tennis Team, painting and practicing yoga.
|Sonya Kouthouridis, Undergraduate RA
Sonya is an undergraduate chemical engineering student and a Montreal native. She is studying the effects of micropatterned surfaces on the chemotherapeutic resistance of cancer cells. Outside the lab, Sonya enjoys cooking, watching movies and doing yoga.
We are currently hiring graduate students for Masters and Ph.D. programs beginning January 2016. If you’re interested in taking a strong multidisciplinary approach towards integrating microtechnologies, engineering and medicine, please consider joining our team.
Previous lab members
2014 (Summer): Celestine Hong, NSERC Undergraduate Summer RA, Dept. of Chemical Engineering
2014 (Summer): David Chondon, NSERC Undergraduate Summer RA, Dept. of Chemical Engineering,
2014 (Summer): Jessica Golo Vaz De Lima, Undergraduate Exchange RA, Science without Borders
2014 (Summer): Jessica Ronci, Undergraduate RA